I'm not normally seasonally affected, but this week I'm feeling a bit so. Creatively sleepy. Absent.
People make a lot of how predictably depressing the third week of January is. Mostly they blame the weather, the post-Christmas debt. I think it has a little more to do with anti-climax.
Winter solstice passes and we do a little jig to celebrate that we've beaten the darkest night of the year. "It only gets lighter from here!", we say.
January 22nd, a month later: "It's still frickin' dark. And now it's cold too."
Samuel de Champlain and the boys in the early 17th century had the right idea. The winter of 1605/06 was a rough one for the whole crew at Porte Royale(like, people died and stuff). This New World was nasty. What better way to best it, they thought, than with some Old World hospitality.
They started L’Ordre de Bon Temps - The Order of Good Cheer. A social club to bring a bit of warmth and camaraderie to this harsh environment. Each member of the order took turns as host. And each host saw it his duty to put on a better spread than the night before. Often, he would spend a couple of days in the bush hunting for the perfect game to prepare a lavish spread.
It worked. Fewer died (my measure of success on almost any venture). And by all accounts, it was a good time.
Paul Kennedy at CBC's Ideas proposed The Order of Good Cheer as a mid-winter holiday for Canadians. I like it. I understand it. I need it. Certainly better than Family Day.